With the Lok Sabha polls round the corner, the social media is likely to become the new battleground for political aspirants. Candidates vying with one another are using the virtual world as a platform to advertise their credentials.

As the selection of candidates has not yet been finalised, posting their photographs taken with national leaders appears to be the most favourite gimmick adopted by the aspirants.

While the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) created a buzz in the social media early, the Congress in the State is now trying to be one-up. Three months ago, the All India Congress Committee (AICC) conducted a workshop on social media for party workers.

“Unlike the BJP that has outsourced people to manage the profiles of its leaders/members in the social media, we have trained party workers and volunteers to keep the party’s image going on the semi-dormant pages. Apart from party workers, the aspirants have started posting frequent updates, mostly targeted at the online, young and upwardly mobile crowd,” said an office-bearer of AICC’s Social Media Cell who did not want to be named.

The Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee’s (KPCC) Information Technology Cell, headed by P.S. Niranjan Rao, is also working out modalities on the optimum use of information technology for the party’s campaign in the general elections. “A documentary portraying the party’s history, “Rajeev to Rahul”, has been prepared and it will be posted on the party’s website. This will be taken to the people through compact discs in all local languages,” Mr. Rao said.

Office-bearers and members of the Karnataka Pradesh Youth Congress Committee (KPYCC) are also going all-out to make their presence felt in the social media.

KPYCC chief Rizwan Arshad said that all Youth Congress members had been trained to keep the party’s image and ideologies alive in the social media. “A small team of Youth Congress members is regularly coordinating all online posts pertaining to the party. This team keeps a regular watch in the social media and if any false propaganda regarding the party is posted, the team will immediately rectify it,” he said.

“Our members are also working to expose Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s fake social media private call centres. There have been reports that nearly 70 per cent of the people following Mr. Modi on Twitter are fake,” he said.